Trump Says Tillerson Is ‘Dumb as a Rock’ After Facing Criticism from the Former Secretary of State

President Donald Trump denounced his first secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, as “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell” on Friday after Tillerson said that the President had regularly pushed him to take actions that were illegal, The New York Times reported.

Trump, who fired Tillerson with a Twitter post in March, lashed back at him the same way after the former secretary gave a talk in Houston and said Trump was undisciplined, did not like to read and did not respect the limits of his office.

“Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him. His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!” Trump wrote on Friday afternoon, referring to the current secretary.

The war of words came after a week in which Washington extolled civility as it bade farewell to former President George Bush and his “kinder and gentler” brand of leadership. With Bush now buried, Trump dispensed with any remnants of the public restraint he had shown during the state funeral to denounce the man he once installed as the head of his cabinet and fourth in line to the presidency, The Times notes.

The acrid exchange demonstrated several truths about Trump’s presidency: He often hires for top positions people he does not know well or, as with Tillerson, had not even previously met, grows disenchanted with them or alienates them and casts them aside. Those who go quietly are then generally left alone. Those who go public with their observations about the President’s behavior are visited with unrelenting thunderbolts from on high.

As a result, some of the most damning portrayals of the President come from people once in his circle. Among his harshest public critics are the ghostwriter on his iconic book, “The Art of the Deal”; the former chief executive of his casino; the television chieftain who helped develop his reality show; a former contestant he put on the White House staff; and now his first secretary of state.

Perhaps more threatening to him is his own former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who has turned on him and implicated him in a hush money scheme to squelch stories of sexual impropriety before the 2016 election and asserted that Trump was seeking to build a tower in Moscow even as he clinched the presidential nomination that year.

Trump has fiercely assailed Mr. Cohen for his disloyalty, effectively warning others not to follow his example. Even as he opened fire at Tillerson, Cohen and others he believes betrayed him, Trump has been busy orchestrating yet another staff shake-up that may leave more raw feelings in its wake, The Times adds.

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